Recovery through Enterprise Architecture Event Highlights

Three weeks ago, The Association of Enterprise Architects – Philippines Chapter (AEA-PH) had its 6th Annual Mini-Conference with the theme: Recovery through Enterprise Architecture. The mini-conference brought together speakers from across the country and abroad as they shared their experiences on how Enterprise Architecture helped them shape their current organizations’ digital transformation journeys.

The mini-conference also commemorated the 25th Anniversary of The Open Group’s Journey as shared by The Open Group Asia President and the Global Product Owner for TOGAF and ArchiMate, Mr. Chris Forde.

Recovery through Enterprise Architecture November 2021 brought together organizations and speakers from across the world to discuss how the cross-industry development of open standards is helping businesses, organizations, and governments become digital-first. The event commemorated The Open Group’s anniversary – acknowledging and reminiscing the remarkable achievements in the technology standards arena. A cumulative total of 100+ attendees gathered virtually to share in the celebration and learn more about open technology standards and digital transformation.

The sessions centered around open standards and highlighted practical applications for businesses. Key speakers included experts from industry-leading organizations such as Meralco, SAP, MEGA, De La Salle University, and Philippine Government agencies such as the Department of Health (DOH) and Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT).

Day One

Allan Borra then welcomed attendees to the first afternoon session, “Let us allow this event to be an opportunity to express our desire for our organizations’ resilience and robustness and as a community of practitioners and purveyors, we continue these conversations prophecizing about enterprise architecture because we swear behind the benefits and impact in adopting this framework, mental tool, management discipline in order to strengthen our organizations as part of our nation-building”. He also introduced the day’s topic which focused on the digital transformation journeys of different Government agencies. Throughout the day, experts from two key government agencies, the Department of Health and the Department of Information and Communication Technology, joined by AEA India and The Open Group India President Dr. Pallab Saha shared and discussed the evolution and impact of the importance of Enterprise Architecture in building roadmaps for governments.

Presentations provided proof of how these standards are being applied within a range of industries to improve business and organizational efficiency.

Digital Philippines Roadmap

DICT is tasked to improve the state of the Philippines’ ICT landscape to be at par with neighboring countries. The government agency’s response has accelerated the Philippine government’s plans and programs towards digital transformation to meet the fast-evolving demands of today’s global society. Headed by Usec. Manny Caintic said that they adopted the CHIP Conceptual framework from the World Bank which presents 4 key components for accelerating the digital transformation of the nation – Connect, Harness, Innovate and Protect. Connect emphasizes the need for an established digital infrastructure. Harness focuses on investing in digital education and in bringing more digital commerce and job opportunities to the Filipino workforce. Innovate explores the potentials of technology in improving govt services in the lives of our countrymen, utilizes digital solutions in solving both old and emerging issues. Protect involves mitigating risks and threats in the digital economies using technologies and responsive policies including giving the people knowledge and tools to protect themselves. The DICT has reached milestones on various fronts such as improving our internet performance, providing connectivity to far-flung areas, and allowing more government agencies to host their content and systems in physical data centers or cloud hosting services.

Digital Health Roadmap

Our next topic discussed the Digital eHealth Roadmap of the Philippines headed by Dir Eric Tayag, who is one of our champions for Health IT having to lead our DOH Telehealth program and more recently the COVID ICT programs of the country. Dir. Eric Tayag shared that there are many Philippine healthcare challenges such as healthcare services as well as access to reliable information for decision-making. He shared that we are now in the era of Sustainable Development Goals and stated that Universal Health Care is the main priority in their goal so that every Filipino has access to quality and affordable health services. Because of the COVID-19 Pandemic, the gaps between ineffective and inefficient service delivery, planning and resource allocation siloed information systems, and data privacy and confidentiality breaches in healthcare were unearthed. In order to address these gaps, the DOH created the eHealth for Digital Transformation of the Philippine Healthcare System by utilizing information and communication technology which became the linchpin of the UHC Act Implementation and COVID-19 Pandemic Response.

Open Group’s eGovernment

President of the Association of Enterprise Architects India and the President of the India Open Group.  Dr. Pallab leads the India National Enterprise Architecture program and is also leading the Open Group’s workgroup on eGovernment.  Dr. Pallab shared in his presentation that governments have been at the forefront of adopting architecture practices in driving their e-government initiatives for years and that a vast majority of the current knowledge in enterprise architecture owe their initiation and development in the government sector. He mentioned that there is a need for holistic thinking that has further exacerbated with the wide acceptance and adoption of UN Sustainable Goals and Digital Technologies, both essential to building digital economies. Dr. Pallab then quoted Mr. Chris Forde: “It is not so much about taking the latest greatest digital technologies but bringing about social transformation with the use of digital technology which is what the EA Workgroup is trying to do.” With the current efforts to move governments and economies forward, most digital transformation efforts use TOGAF as it is one of the most used frameworks for enterprise architecture today in the public and private sectors, providing an approach for designing, planning, implementing, and governing an enterprise’s digital architecture. Finally, Dr. Pallab stated that Government Enterprise Architecture requires attention and concerted efforts to contemporize and advance the current body of knowledge. Demand-driven outputs will have a visible impact o the entire GovTech ecosystem of governments, the public sector, service providers, training organizations, academia, start-ups, and consultants.

Day Two

The second day of the Mini-Conference focused on real-life success stories and case studies from our esteemed industry speakers across different fields such as the Academe, Energy, and IT.

Smart Campus 

To start off the second day of the AEA PH Mini-Conference, Mr. Allan Borra presented De La Salle University’s Digital Transformation Marathon. He discussed the current state of the university, the Enterprise Architecture work was done towards the digital transformation and the learnings that their organization has acquired as they go through the journey. Mr. Borra highlighted that the BITUIN (Banner Initiative to Transform, Unite, Integrate, and Navigate) Project not only focused on the transition to new technologies, rather it is a holistic approach that took Process, People, and Technology into consideration.

Digital Energy

In the space of Digital Energy, Mr. Mark Ramos gave us a glimpse of how the pandemic has affected Meralco, the strategy that the organization has put in place, and the fruits they reaped, and the lessons they have learned. Mr. Ramos highlighted their drivers towards EA transformation namely, External and Market Forces, Technology Challenge, and Meralco’s EA Pain Points. Through an internal EA Overall Maturity Index survey, Meralco was able to strategize their Enterprise Architecture to effectively enable transformation, thus leading to the identification of directives and key actions on how their EA group can move forward.

Digitalization in Corporates

For Digitalization in Corporates, Mr. Rommel Tiongco highlighted three things in his discussion.

The first is to have an EA, or at least, have an EA mindset. Mr. Tiongco defined that having an EA mindset means being able to apply tools and techniques to gather data about the business, analyze it, propose changes that drive outcomes, implement these changes and measure the impact of these changes to the organization. The second is to establish trust with customers. As Enterprise Architects need lots of information to be effective, it is important to hear the perspectives and sentiments of the people on the ground. The last point that Mr. Tiongco highlighted is to work to identify mutual opportunities, this means a win for both the vendor and the customer. He also mentioned that it is okay to declare things to be out-of-scope areas for both customers and vendors.

Case Study from MEGA

Arthur Belhoste, Principal Business Consultant from MEGA shared a case study of a global private bank in the Asia Pacific Region – an International Bank that has a complex organization with many subsidiaries which raises questions on the application deployment, co-model deployment of applications, and how they rationalize these applications. Mr. Belhoste reiterates that IT is critical for banks in order for them to conduct and manage the business properly. As a business consultant, MEGA tries to deliver assets faster using agile methodology for projects and as Enterprise Architects, they have to support the organization in various types of IT deployment. MEGA uses a clear approach for building, governing, and rationalizing Enterprise Architecture. He mentions 3 key objectives when working on a digital transformation project – First, they have to bring visibility on IT assets to know what will be impacted when adding or deprecating applications. Second, they review and validate the architecture needed and the processes that need to be automated in the architecture governance to improve EA efficiency. And finally, they lower costs and risks by identifying and removing redundant applications that cost money and reducing the risks associated with technical debt. In order to achieve these key objectives, MEGA leverages the EA Asset Catalogue for Rationalization and Architecture Governance. Inventory phase – wherein they review the inventory of assets, application, and technology. Governance – where implementing proper governance in terms of the roles on the assets, application owners, infrastructure owners, and business process owners is critical to ensure that IT assets are controlled and are populated.

Closing Remarks

The event was closed with the final remarks of Allan Borra, President of the Association of Enterprise Architects – Philippines Chapter: “We had an interesting conversation today which includes case studies of organizations in different stages of Enterprise Architecture journey and catalyst groups can help jumpstart EA journeys. It was an interesting conversation today, there are different stages by which we can enjoy and get the benefits of Enterprise Architecture.”

That’s a wrap for the 6th Annual Association of Enterprise Architects – Philippines Chapter Mini-Conference!

Thank you to our fantastic sponsors; Sinag Solutions and MEGA. Many thanks to our incredible speakers, co-sponsors, attendees, and staff.

Proceedings and recordings of the Mini-Conference are available for viewing below:

Recovery through Enterprise Architecture Event Day 1 Recording:

Recovery through Enterprise Architecture Event Day 2 Recording:

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